News Articles - David's Australian Tour 2002
Boots 'n' All Star
Sunday Herald Sun
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Former pop icon David Cassidy has some crazy memories of his last visit to Australia, as Michael McKenna reports.
THE inside of a Holden sedan boot is among the most vivid memories David Cassidy has of his Australian tour almost 28 years ago.
The tour was dubbed "World War III" at the time, as security and ambulance services were overwhelmed by the mass of screaming fans trying to get close to the chart-topping heartthrob of '70s hit TV show The Partridge Family.
Cassidy, set to make this concert return to Australia in November, was shuttled between hotels and venues in car boots as security men in limousines played decoy for fans who had made him one of the world's biggest stars.
It is not a scene that Cassidy, now 52 and still a boyish-looking performer, expects will be repeated when he plays again to Australian audiences, some of whom would have seen him the first time around.
But Cassidy, who recently moved to Florida after a five-year stint in Las Vegas, told the Sunday Herald Sun that while the hysteria might have subsided, the loyalty of his fans had remained as solid as his 25 million in record sales.
It is not something he takes for granted.
Many thought Cassidy's surprise retirement from concert touring, while only 24, soon after the 1974 Australian shows was due to burnout.
But Cassidy said he made the choice so that he could grow up personally and develop professionally into more than just a "one mill" act and ensure his longevity in the business.
"I don't miss those days. It was madness and chaos all the time, but I have very fond feelings about what I was able to accomplish," he said.
"It was important for me to walk away when I was at the top. I needed to devote more time to myself. I was five years emotionally inferior to other people my age because all I was doing was working.
"I knew I had to distance myself in order to create. I wanted different work, different arenas, and it has made my life a lot richer because it was a long struggle."
It was a huge risk to take.
Almost as soon as The Partridge Family was screened in 1970, Cassidy became a superstar with the show producing his first worldwide hit, I Think I Love You.
The shaggy-haired heart-throb, a '70s version of the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync rolled into one, followed up with a succession of hits - including C'mon Get Happy and Cherish - making him the world's highest paid entertainer.
Cassidy broke attendance records at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the New York's Madison Square Garden and had a bigger fan club than Elvis and the Beatles.
But after his retirement from concert touring, Cassidy spent almost a decade in relative obscurity - until he took on a role in the Broadway show Blood Brothers in the early 1990s.
It marked Cassidy's return as an entertainment force.
He took other stage roles on Broadway, London's West End and then Las Vegas where he spent five years writing, producing and starring in three of the biggest shows on the famous strip.
His Vegas success motivated Cassidy to release his first album of new material in more than a decade.
Then and Now features new arrangements of such hits as Cherish, I Think I Love You and I Write The Songs, as well as some new material, some of which he co-wrote with his singer wife, Sue Shifrin.
The album, his 20th put him back in the charts, making the Top 10 in Britain and sparking a sold-out US and UK tour.
The Australian leg had to wait for him and Sue (they have a 10-year-old son, Beau) to tie up loose ends in Las Vegas and build a house in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"Every time I was asked to tour Australia I was busy but, at long last, the planets are aligned. It's going to be really interesting to see how it has changed. I didn't get to see much of the country last time because I was in car boots all the time.
"But I do know Australians are the best in the world at enjoying themselves and I think the shows will be a real celebration of the positive impact I have had on generations of people and the impact fans have had on me."
Cassidy said he was in contact with only two former Partridge Family members - his TV mum Shirley Jones, who was also his real-life step-mum, and TV brother Danny Bonaduce.
"I love Shirley. We don't see each other very often because of my touring and her touring with orchestras," he said. "Danny and I have seen each other quite often. He opened my shows a few times and I have appeared on his ratio and TV programs in LA but the others I haven't seen or spoken to for some time."